Unhappy at being told to move over for Max Verstappen, Ted Kravitz says Sergio Perez is probably the “last person on God’s green earth” who doesn’t know he’s Red Bull’s number two driver.
That Perez is Red Bull’s number two driver was evident in Sunday’s Spanish Grand Prix as first his call to be allowed to pass Verstappen, who was stuck behind George Russell, was denied only for him to be ordered to do just that for Verstappen later in the race.
Perez was leading towards the end of the Barcelona race with reliability the only thing standing between Red Bull and a 1-2 finish.
Much to his surprise, the Mexican driver was then ordered to move over for Verstappen, handing his team-mate the lead and ultimately the race win.
Perez replied: “That’s very unfair, but okay.”
Crossing the line in second place, he told Red Bull: “I’m happy for the team, but we need to speak later.”
Sergio Perez told Red Bull “I’m happy for the team, but we need to speak later” regarding the team orders that saw him forced to surrender first place during the Spanish Grand Prix.#SpanishGP #F1https://t.co/JE4lNBDZhS
— PlanetF1 (@Planet_F1) May 22, 2022
That Perez doesn’t realise he is Red Bull’s number two was a surprise for Sky Sports F1 reporter Kravitz.
He said in his post-race notebook: “Perez, they wouldn’t let him pass Max Verstappen to try and get George Russell, and Perez proved that he was able to get George Russell by in fact getting George Russell when Max Verstappen had his spin, so Perez was right on that one.
“And then Perez not happy in the end about being treated essentially as a number two driver, but it’s the real world isn’t it Checo?
“Let’s face it, I think if you don’t realise that that’s your position in this team, then you’re probably the last person on God’s green earth who doesn’t realise that this is your position within the Red Bull team.
“And while it may say something Checo in your contract, then I think everyone else knows and [it] was clearly demonstrated today that there is only one number one in that Red Bull garage, and it’s not the one with one one  on his car, it’s the one with one on its car.”
Whether Sunday’s race will have any bearing on Perez’s contract negotiations with Red Bull for next season remains to be seen.
He is in talks with the team about an extension but, with his number two role so clearly thrown in his face, he may reconsider – or at least want guarantees – as it seems if Verstappen is in the race, Perez won’t be allowed to win.
Red Bull's team orders hands Verstappen the win
Red Bull made the call to Sergio Perez to let his team-mate Max Verstappen through for the race win.